Reasor’s Listens To Reason

Written by Ron on October 25th, 2012

Many of you may have heard or read that Reasor’s Stores were preparing signage to prohibit legally carried firearms on their premises. The Tulsa World talked to their COO Steve Lehto about it in an article last week. Needless to say lots of people wrote letters and made phone calls to Reasor’s about this. I know I wrote a lengthy letter to them trying to get them to see the light and not give in to panic. A copy of my letter is below. Another shooting instructor, Stephen Cue, also wrote them. Stephen is an NRA Training Counselor and SDA Instructor among other things.

The bottom line is that Reasor’s listened. I got a telephone call this morning from Steve Lehto at Reasor’s telling me that they had reconsidered their position after receiving so many calls and letters and would not prohibit legal firearms carry on their premises. He said they especially appreciated the education that some of us gave them on what is required to obtain a Self Defense Act permit in Oklahoma. Stephen Cue got a call also, and I assume several others throughout the state did.

It’s nice to see that reason and knowledge can overcome irrational fear and knee-jerk reactions, at least once in a while. I’m sure it also helps that the grocery business is very competitive and making Reasor’s a “no one will shoot back zone” might well cost them more customers than the few that would be scared by the thought of someone in the store carrying a real gun.

Thanks and congratulations to the shooting community in Oklahoma.

_________________________________

19 Oct. 2012

Reasor’s Home Office
200 West Choctaw
Tahlequah, OK 74464

 

Good day,

I read in today’s Tulsa World that Reasor’s is preparing signage to indicate that firearms will not be allowed “on site.”

The Reasor’s supermarket chain is readying new signage for its area stores that make it clear that weapons won’t be allowed on site, said Steve Lehto, the company’s chief operating officer.

“We feel like it’s the best thing for our customers,” he said. “We try to make the shopping experience easy and enjoyable for everyone.”
— Tulsa World, Oct. 19, 2012

I am writing today to encourage your firm to reconsider this position. Persons possessing a firearms permit under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act (SDA) have to pass a rigorous federal and state background check, similar to that required by CLEET for armed security guards. Permit holders must also successfully pass a training course, which is largely about when and if one may use a firearm legally and on the restrictions on carry locations and potential legal issues surrounding both. They must also demonstrate in the training course that they can safely handle and shoot a firearm. In short, those possessing a SDA permit are trained, and thoroughly checked out and should be the ideal customer to have in your place of business.

Most of our family’s grocery purchases are made in the Tulsa store at 71st St. and Sheridan Rd. While I believe this is a hardly a rough neighborhood, I have been accosted several times in the parking lot by people trying to beg money for a variety of fictional causes. Some have been pretty aggressive at this. I have reported these to the store manager or security guard and they respond appropriately. However, the confrontation had already happened, so the presence of security in the store or company policy against panhandling on the premises did nothing to prevent this encounter.

When concealed carry was initially approved here, there was a lot of hand-wringing and fear mongering, especially by the Tulsa World, envisioning Dodge City shootouts and the like. Several large merchants initially forbad firearms on their premises. Several shooting enthusiast websites and forums started posting lists of merchants where concealed carry was not allowed. We came to call these places “No one will shoot back zones,” because only law-abiding people will obey the signs and criminals do prefer unarmed victims.

However, as time went by and none of the feared events came to pass, more than a few businesses, large and small, found that they were losing market share to competitors by telling SDA permit holders that their patronage was not desired.

I realize that open-carry will cause a little more anxiety than concealed carry, but  I think you will find that very few people actually choose to carry openly. Most permit holders are responsible members of their community and will not wish to alarm those around them. More importantly, they will not want to alert criminals who to shoot first. This is one of the key disadvantages a uniformed police officer has over a plain-clothes officer.

I am active in the shooting sports as a competitor in several disciplines, an instructor of both adults and Scouts, and as a past officer and current board member of a large shooting club in the area. I’ve talked to a lot of other shooters about the open-carry issue, and the vast majority have no intention of carrying openly for the reasons outlined above.

The only advantage to having open carry become legal is that if one’s legally carried firearm becomes visible for a moment while bending down to pick up something, or in a very windy parking lot, it will no longer legally amount to “brandishing a firearm.” Under the law in effect now, a permit holder’s firearms must be kept concealed at all times. If the firearm is visible to others it is considered brandishing, which is a punishable offense under Oklahoma Statutes.

I would really prefer to shop at Reasor’s though there are two Food Pyramid stores and both a Wal-Mart Super Center and Neighborhood Market approximately the same distance away. However, if Reasor’s feels it is more important to cater to the irrational fears of the few, I will be forced to shop elsewhere, and I am the primary grocery purchaser in our household. Needless to say, I will also encourage the 600+ members of my shooting club and all those I know through competition to do likewise.

I really think you should wait and see on this, rather than encourage your existing customer base to go elsewhere. Once they have gotten used to shopping somewhere else, it will be lot harder to get them back.

Banning firearms on site is something we would expect from Whole Foods or similar distantly owned and managed firms, not from an Oklahoma grocery chain. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has placed trust in SDA permit holders by granting them the permit.  Reasor’s should be equally willing to trust these fellow Oklahomans and should welcome their patronage.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss this issue. I’ll be glad to provide whatever additional information I can.

Ron Denton

NRA Certified Instructor – Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Reloading
NRA Range Safety Officer
IDPA Safety Officer

 

No! I don’t have or want a “rewards” card!

Written by Ron on March 24th, 2011

OK, this has gotten totally out of control. Rewards cards for retailers, whether food or auto parts or pet food is just another way to get your demographic data for targeted marketing use. I’m sick of it. I’m not about to carry dozens of little plastic cards around so that I can someday get a 1.3% discount on your already overpriced bagels and sandwiches, etc. From now on my response is going to be either “sure I’d love one, then throw it in the trash in front of the cashier, or “no I do not have or want one and if you mention it again we can cancel this transaction.”
Granted the “rewards card” is not nearly as predatory as the thinly veiled scam called “extended warranty” on everything from computer keyboard to athletic shoes, but it’s just as irritating.
If taking my money for this purchase is not sufficient, then I clearly need to be making this purchase somewhere else.

 

Happy 90th Birthday Dave Brubeck

Written by Ron on December 6th, 2010

Dave Brubeck is still going strong at 90. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing/hearing him live couple of times and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dave has also given back a tremendous amount to up and coming young musicians and students.
Thanks for what you have shared with us and many happy returns of the day Dave.
To hear a lot of Dave’s music, tune to KJAZZ on the Internet. KJAzz is the 24-hour non-commercial Jazz and Blues station at Cal State Long Beach. Most of the work here at Ardent Voice and Siliver and Silicon Images is done with KJazz playing behind me. There are also Jazz-related movies on Turner Classic Movies today.
Michael Franks’ song “Hearing Take Five” says it for me, and I was just a pup then.

 

Why does Nancy Bolzle want to be the Tulsa County Assessor?

Written by Ron on November 1st, 2010

I simply cannot get a reasonable answer to this question. I’ve looked over her web site and found the usual pablum about values and community that every candidate proclaims, but nothing that would explain why this lobbyist and social set wife of a local land developer suddenly feels the need to seek an elected office – and why this office in particular.

In fairness, I have to admit that I do not pretend to know what is in anyone’s  mind. That said,  I just cannot see how someone who says they want to do all this community enrichment would see the county assessor’s office as the place to do it. On the other hand, someone who is a well connected lobbyist and has a land developer in the family could see lots of opportunity at the assessor’s office. It’s not like she needs the income from a county job. Today’s post at BatesLine brings up some other issues as well.

What I do know is that Ken Yazel, as a veteran Marine Corps officer, is a graduate of one of the premier management schools in this country. As a Mustang officer, Ken rose through the enlisted ranks before becoming a commissioned officer. If you can lead Marines both as an NCO and as an Officer, you can manage about anything else.

Ken also has impressive schooling in finance, accounting and auditing. The problem may be that he is just a little too fair and honest for some who want to run Tulsa County as their fiefdom.

At a time when both public and private budgets are stretched thin, the last thing we need for a county assessor is a lobbyist with lots of “special friends and clients” and no apparent background or knowledge that would remotely qualify her for the job.

If fairness and integrity matter to you, keep Ken Yazel as the Tulsa County Assessor.

 

The kind of Hope and Change we really needed!

Written by Ron on October 28th, 2010

These are not my words, but it was very well put, so I thought I’d post here to pass it along.

1. Obama destroyed the Clinton Political Machine, driving a stake through the heart of Hillary’s presidential aspirations – something no Republican was ever able to do.

2. Obama ended the Kennedy Dynasty – no more Kennedys trolling Washington looking for booze and women wanting rides home.

3. Obama is destroying the Democratic Party before our eyes! Dennis Moore had never lost a race. Evan Bayh had never lost a race. Byron Dorgan had never lost a race. Harry Reid – soon to be GONE! These are just a handful of the Democrats whose political careers Obama has destroyed. By the end of 2010, dozens more will be gone. Just think, in December of 2008 the Democrats were on the rise. In the last two election cycles, they had picked up 14 Senate seats and 52 House seats. The press was touting the death of the Conservative Movement and the Republican Party. However, in just one year, Obama put a stop to all of this and will probably give the House – if not the Senate – back to the Republicans.

4. Obama has completely exposed liberals and progressives for what they are. Sadly, every generation seems to need to relearn the lesson on why they should never actually put liberals in charge. Obama is bringing home the lesson very well:

Liberals tax, borrow and spend.
Liberals won’t bring themselves to protect America .
Liberals want to take over the economy.
Liberals think they know what is best for everyone.
Liberals are not happy until they are running YOUR life.

5. Obama has brought more Americans back to conservatism than anyone since Reagan. In one year, he has rejuvenated the Conservative Movement and brought out to the streets millions of freedom-loving Americans. Name one other time when you saw your friends and neighbors this interested in taking back America !

6. Obama, with his “amazing leadership,” has sparked the greatest period of sales of firearms and ammunition this country has seen. Law- abiding citizens have rallied and have provided a “stimulus” to the sporting goods field while other industries have failed, faded, or moved offshore.

7. In all honesty, one year ago I was more afraid than I have been in my life. Not afraid of the economy, but afraid of the direction our country was going. I thought, Americans have forgotten what this country is all about. My neighbors and friends, even strangers, have proved to me that my lack of confidence in the greatness and wisdom of the American people has been flat wrong.

8. When the American people wake up, no smooth-talking teleprompter reader can fool them! Barack Obama has served to wake up these great Americans!

Again, I want to say: “Thank you, Barack Obama!” After all, this is exactly the kind of hope and change we desperately needed!!

November 2nd is HUGE!!!!

Please encourage others to Vote.

——————————–

Now I just hope that if there truly is a power shift, that those who come in remember how they got there and why the others were thrown out.

 

Tulsa School Board to decide which laws they agree to follow – surprise?

Written by Ron on October 13th, 2010

Tonight’s Tulsa School Board meeting is centered around HB3393, the Lindsay Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program act. First a presentation by Attorney Doug Mann and Super Keith Ballard, then the mandatory comments from the public (for all the good it will do), then a discussion by the Board of any possible action deemed appropriate – like joining several other area districts in deciding that they will not follow the law and instead spend countless thousands of your tax dollars, since they have such a surplus, in fighting HB3393 in the courts.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  “It’s not about the kids or about education, it’s about control.”
For a much more detailed examination of the act, it’s history and why it will not cost the local districts, by its author in the legislature, Rep. Jason Nelson, (R-OKC) , read his blog.

Also some very insightful reporting on the local aspect of this issue and legal costs and who might be representing these districts, see this afternoon’s post by Michael Bates on Batesline.

If you care about how your tax dollars are spent and misspent and who benefits,  you need to read these through to really understand it’s all about control, not education.

 

SQ744 – Far from a winning team

Written by Ron on September 28th, 2010

We just got a slick mail piece trying to connect sports team rankings with educational ranking in Oklahoma. As most of us already know, there is no connection at all with our various sports teams and education, despite the student-athlete myth. This one plays on the other great myth of the political-educational complex, namely that there is a direct correlation between spending on common education and the quality of the education. All one has to do is look at the tragedy of the Washington D.C. school system to see that this is plainly not true.

The D.C. system ranks among the highest in teacher pay and per-pupil spending in the nation and is at the absolute bottom in quality.  When we see how much wailing and money the AFT spent to get rid of Mayor Fenty and soon his Education Chancellor Michelle Rhee, it is abundantly clear that the only thing the teachers’ union cares about is protecting their jobs  and to hell with the kids, the parents and everyone else.

The one thing connected to sports that actually does have a direct bearing on education is that you put your best people in the game if you want to win, and put the rest of the folks either on the bench or off the team.  It does not matter how much experience they have, what certifications they have or anything else. Whether it is coaches or players, those that put out 110% and don’t make excuses get the victories and those that whine about funding and process and seniority lose. This is the lesson from sports that we should apply to public education.

Piles of money will not get you a winning team if the main criteria for coaches and players is certifications and seniority, regardless of performance. A union will never produce a winning team because “winning” is not what they are about. Unions are about job protection and grievance process. There was a time when they were also a guarantor of a certain level of skill and expertise going back to the guilds, but that has long been eroded by the almighty gods of process and seniority.

The one true thing from the mailer is where it says, “SQ744 takes control of school funding away from lobbyists and government bureaucrats, and puts it in the hands of local parents, teachers and school boards.” The problem is that none of those local parents teachers and school boards are in Oklahoma.  We may as well hand over our school funding decisions directly to the NEA/AFT. The results would be the same.

A new film by David Guggenheim, not exactly a conservative ideologue, called Waiting for Superman, will hopefully help to further drive a wedge between those who want to worship process and protect jobs and those who actually care about educating the youth of our country, regardless of party or persuasion. There is also a good review of the film by Matthew Shaffer at National Review Online, (Rocking the Boat on Education) who saw it at a screening sponsored by Democrats for School Choice.

Education is the single biggest factor that can liberate young people  from a dysfunctional, troubled or just loveless home into a functional, productive and fulfilling life. I think that is more important than guaranteeing the job security,  grievance process and pensions of so-called “teachers” that will never make the starting lineup.

 

Are unions really the problem?

Written by Ron on September 6th, 2010

Having seen both abusive and unresponsive management/owners and the protection of mediocre and unproductive workers by unions in places I have worked, I have to say that the real problem boils down to humans and egos. Both management and unions are quite capable of ruining a firm when they let egos run amok.

In the labor-management transaction, there needs to be a deal that both sides can live with and that will neither break the firm nor take unfair advantage of the worker. The problem is that in many cases, the unions have come into play only after a history of abuse by the employer, so neither side is really bargaining without an axe to grind. Once in place, unions frequently continue to push for more and more concessions, regardless of the net effect on the health of the employer and because of the employer’s attitude towards workers, the negotiators cannot really trust or believe each other.

Some of the unions themselves are unwilling to deal fairly and openly with their own employees as detailed in this piece by Deroy Murdock in National Review. Here again, it’s all about a few people not being able to distinguish between being CEO or President and being King.

Clearly there are major abuses on both sides. The “rubber room” where some union teachers spend years whiling away the day at the taxpayer’s expense because it is so complicated and expensive to just discharge them is a current example.  But, for every example of a union procedure or benefit that seems unbelievable to the rest of us, there is a negotiator somewhere that agreed to it for that employer.

In the public sector, those seen as “management” may agree to nearly anything as they have no vested interest in the “business” anyway, since revenues are based on taxation and legislation rather than a free-market. For this reason I have some real problems with unions in the public sector, unless the union contracts are subjected to a public vote by either the people or by their elected representatives. Otherwise it is just one government employee making a deal with other government employees while no one really has the responsibility to look after the public interest.

On the other side, I once worked for a firm that kept changing the bonus criteria every other month because someone in the home office decided they were paying too much out in bonuses. The net result was that it became essentially impossible to meet the bonus requirements and the very things the bonus was set up to encourage disappeared. At the same time, pay rates were frozen and the employee share of the benefits plan shot up. Needless to say, productivity suffered greatly and absenteeism became a problem. Disappointed with that outcome, management went for the stick instead of a better carrot and several workers, myself included, started to investigate union representation. It had become clear that the firm’s priorities had changed from encouraging productivity to controlling labor expense within very tight parameters.

Republicans would have us believe that all unions are evil and that business owners and managers are all fair and honest folks who just want to make an honest profit from their efforts. Democrats would have us believe that every worker, whether in private business or on the government payroll must be protected from the evils of management and owners. Like so many other issues, neither tells the whole story. Neither side wants to tell you that most things are not black and white, because then you might actually start evaluating candidates as individuals instead of by party affiliation. To paraphrase, the fault lies not in our unions or employers, but in ourselves.

 

Want me to switch to paperless billing, give me a discount!

Written by Ron on August 27th, 2010

Stop with the green crap about paperless billing. It’s real simple, not having to print and mail statements and invoices will save them a pile of money. Therefore, offer me a discount to go paperless.

These are starting to get bothersome as I pay many of my bills online. The thing now is to have the default button when you login or complete the transaction to enable paperless billing because they know that many of us will just continue to hit the highlighted button or return key.

There have always been some businesses that operate right on the ragged edge of fraud and frequently needed scrutiny by prosecutors and consumer advocates, but it is rapidly becoming the “norm.” Rigging web sites to push people into things that they would not otherwise accept is just the latest trick. I very much prefer the free-enterprise system to anything else that has been tried or proposed — but there is a dark side to it as well, simply because it is run by humans.

 

I’m sick of “economic news” and the myth of Washington being able to fix the economy

Written by Ron on August 26th, 2010

I’m really getting sick and tired of hearing every stupid statistic trotted out as Breaking News and then a flurry of  professors and so-called experts from former administrations wringing their hand about what this may or may not mean. This week it is home sales. Let’s see, unemployment still high so not many home sales, what a shocker.

The one thing that should be abundantly clear from all of this is that Washington does not control the economy, no matter how much they borrow from abroad to throw at selected industries in the name of spurring economic growth or recovery or whatever.  It doesn’t matter whether the administration is controlled by either party, the whole economic engine of the country is just too big and too complex for the goofballs in D.C. to do anything more that twiddle around the edges and drive the national debt to new heights. The only difference in the two political parties is who they give our tax money to in order to pay back campaign contributions. No amount of government spending whether on missiles and ships or teacher unions and road construction is  going to bring back a middle-class with jobs and futures and realistic hopes of retiring some day.